[meteorite-list] Value of Nationalized Meteorites
From: MARK BOSTICK <thebigcollector_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon Feb 20 19:15:29 2006
Dr. Everett Gibson, who is not a list member, did have a few comments along
our discussion, which he is once again is kindly letting me share with the
The meat on the pricing related here is: ~103 grams for 7-8 million on the
low side, to ~234 million on the high side. Which is $70,000-80,000 a gram,
to a little over 2 million a gram.
The meteorites, martian samples and lunar samples taken in the theft
the safe from my lab at NASA's Johnson Space Center were appraised by three
individuals who buy and sell meteorites. The monetary values determined by
three appraisers was used in the trial of Gordon McWhorter and the
hearing for Thad Roberts. I would prefer not to give the monetary values
determined by the appraisers but I can tell you the value for the ALH84001
sample was staggering.
The attorneys argued over whether the cost of the Apollo program
be "figured" into the value of the lunar samples. The monetary value of
samples figured into the length of the sentences given the defendants.
Taking the weight of the 53 different lunar samples stolen (~103 grams total
weight stolen) along with the mass of returned lunar samples from the six
missions, and costs for the missions. The top value of the appraised
came to ~$234 million dollars. The lower value was in the $7 to 8 million
dollar range-excluding selected Apollo mission costs . The actual numbers
in the court testimony which I have not seen because as a witness I was
excluded from that testimony.
As a side light, McWhorter was found guilty and sentenced to ~60 or 70
months in federal custody. He is currently in the Fort Worth Federal
Facility and is not scheduled to be released until April 2008. Thad
was sentenced to 90 months federal custody. His last appeal (based on his
belief that he was sentenced too harshly) has just been denied within the
two months. He has recently been transferred from the medium level
facility in Florence, CO to the Super Maximum Security Facility (SUPER-MAX!)
Florence, CO because of failing to obey the rules. Roberts is scheduled to
be released the end of January 2009.
Received on Mon 20 Feb 2006 07:15:22 PM PST